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In the process of establishing one's identity, the place one was born and raised has an enormous influence. When I physically distanced myself from the land where I was born and raised and looked at Japan from a third-person perspective, I realized how ignorant I was about the land and culture that created its identity, and I became interested in it and realized how wonderful it is. I started noticing this.

The beauty of “imbalance (imperfection)” is connected to the ancient Japanese aesthetic sense of wabi-sabi.

Illuminated by a uniform amount of light, all following the flow of the times, seeking perfect beauty in any situation, and shining brightly is considered a virtue, even though it is unbalanced like a chipped teacup. ULTERIOR continues to pursue this beauty. The beauty of imperfection is beauty in the process of change. By accepting change and accepting things as they are, there will be an infinite amount of time before and after that, and within that time, I believe there is the root of beauty. Just like the appearance of a missing teacup, the color of the sky as the evening sun sets and covers it must contain an infinite story about the time that precedes and follows it.

When I visited a Zen temple, I saw a dry landscape garden that depicted the process by which Buddhism was introduced from India. It is said that monks from all over the world still visit the Zen temple where Sojun Ikkyu is said to have trained. I heard from the temple's chief priest that stones sent from a monk visiting from Bodh Gaya were used in this dry landscape garden. Furthermore, although the stone is only slightly visible in the garden, I hear that it is actually very large. The stone is not meant to be shown off, and its purpose is not to expose it to the public. At that moment, I realized that the virtue of showing without showing and not showing is important. In talking with the chief priest, I learned that Zen simply means the attitude of thinking, ``That's the way it is.''

When it comes to things like that, you have to accept things once and think about it from there.

ULTERIOR's aesthetic sense and philosophy exist in between.